Submission Guidelines

For All Submissions

  • We do not accept previously published work (either in print or online).
  • Use a standard, easy-to-read typeface (for example, Arial or Times) and font size (11 or 12pt).
  • List work titles in the order they appear in your cover letter.
  • Include your name and page number in the header of each page.
  • Do not include extraneous or blank pages with your submission.
  • Do not send revisions unless our editors have requested them.
  • Allow 8 to 16 weeks for a response (sometimes longer in May-July and December-January). We thank you in advance for your patience.
  • All inquiries about submissions must be made via email or U.S. mail.

Postal Submissions

  • Please enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) (No. 10 or larger) or sufficient International Reply Coupons for reply onlyNo work will be returned.

Email Submissions

  • Submissions may be made electronically to
  • Submissions made in the body of an email will not be consideredPlease submit work as an attached .doc.docx, or .rtf file. Links to a Google Docs file will be rejected.
  • Please include the genre you are submitting in the subject line.
  • In the body of the email, please list the title(s) of the poem(s) or story that you are submitting.

Additional Information

  • We do accept simultaneous submissions if informed. We expect prompt notification if the work is accepted elsewhere.
  • Manuscripts may be withdrawn until we send an acceptance notification to you.
  • Authors and artists receive two copies of the issue in which their work appears.
  • Translations are welcome, and should be accompanied by a copy of the original text. Translators are responsible for the author’s permission.
  • The MacGuffin is copyrighted. Upon publication, all rights revert to authors. We appreciate acknowledgement as first place of publication.


  • We consider traditional, formal, free verse, and experimental poetry up to 400 lines.
  • There are no subject biases.
  • Please do not submit more than five poems at one time.
  • Poems should by typed and single-spaced, with one per page and all in the same file.

Fiction and Creative Nonfiction

  • We have no subject biases, though obvious pornographic material will not be published.
  • Maximum length is 5000 wordsPlease include word count. Portions of longer works are acceptable if they can stand alone. Please do not submit more than two stories.
  • Please allow your word processor to wrap your lines—do not insert line breaks or hard returns.
  • All prose should be typed and double-spaced.
  • The page size should be set to 8.5"x11" and the page margins should be set to 1" all around.


  • Submit the best quality image available; that is, original photographs, slides, or artwork. Photocopies or laser outputs scan unevenly, and leave streaks across the image.
  • If you want an image cropped, indicate the cropping on a photocopy of the image. Do not crop photos or artwork. We size and crop images electronically.
  • Electronic images should be EPSTIFF, or JPEG files saved at 300 dpi for photos, and 600 (minimum) to 1200 (maximum) dpi for line art.
  • Embedded images are not accessible to the page layout software.